Asteroid Bennu Will Not Destroy Earth

Posted: Aug 2 2016, 5:09am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 4 2016, 9:28pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Asteroid Bennu Will Not Destroy Earth
  • Asteroid Bennu will not be Striking our Home Planet anytime Soon

It is being said that asteroid Bennu will not be striking the surface of our home planet anytime soon.

NASA will be going ahead with its asteroid sampling mission. Yet one thing it will not be doing is frightening the masses of the world regarding the arrival of an asteroid that will wipe out all of life on earth.

Although there is a slight chance of a similar scenario, the 1650 feet wide asteroid Bennu will probably not even graze the earth. Even if there are any dangers from it, they will only occur in the 22nd century and that is a long way off.

Asteroid Bennu is the goal of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. This will take off for the skies next month. The experts warn that making such assumptions about the asteroid hitting the earth are at best premature and ill-informed speculations. No such danger exists.

In fact, the chances are virtually non-existent. Also they point out that the rock is not as humongous as its made out to be. Thus it will not hurt the earth to the extent to which it is being portrayed to do so. The media is just making a mountain out of a molehill, they say.

The chief investigator into the matter spoke of how they were not talking about an asteroid that could destroy all of life on the earth. The asteroid in fact didn’t have such great energy to do that kind of damage to our home planet.

"We're not talking about an asteroid that could destroy the Earth," OSIRIS-REx principal investigator Dante Lauretta, of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, told "We're not anywhere near that kind of energy for an impact."

If the scheme is right on time, OSIRIS-REx will take off atop an Atlas V rocket. Florida’s Cape Canaveral will be the launch site. The project costs approximately $800 million. This spacecraft will take two years to track Bennu down. It will finally catch up with it in the year 2018.

By the time 2020 arrives, the spacecraft will have picked enough samples from it to start the return journey. In 2023, the spacecraft will head back to earth.

Labs throughout the global village will peruse the materials from asteroid Bennu thoroughly. Asteroids such as Bennu are black, old and very rich in carbon deposits.

In fact, this asteroid and others of its kind may have played a crucial role in the spread of life on our planet. Organic matter and clay probably found a way to our planet via similar asteroids.

The main objective of the mission is the investigation of these issues. Also the scientists want to know if there are any precious resources available on Bennu.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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